Owen Miller launched a game-tying two-run homer in the ninth inning to give the Cleveland Guardians a chance in extra innings, but Nick Sandlin walked in the go-ahead run for the Cincinnati Reds in the tenth inning to send the home team to a 5-4 loss Tuesday night.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the tenth inning, Jose Ramirez struck out on four pitches, sealing the loss for the Guardians and adding another chapter to his May slump. He entered the game slashing .200/.345/.333 in 55 plate appearances this month.
The Guardians didn’t do much against Reds starting pitcher Connor Overton. It was not an overpowering performance, as Overton only recorded a pair of strikeouts. But he limited Cleveland to three hits and one walk, making use of all six of his pitches and avoiding the heart of the strike zone to keep opposing hitters from making good contact. After surrendering a sac fly to Myles Straw in the third inning, Overton retired the next 13 batters he faced.
Andres Gimenez sparked a minor rally against Overton in the eighth inning, sliding into first base to beat Overton to the bag on what should have been a groundout. Instead, Cleveland had a leadoff baserunner who eventually came around to score on a two-out RBI single by Myles Straw, cutting the deficit to 4-2. Miller completed the rally in the ninth inning with Cincinnati reliever Tony Santillan on the mound, crushing a hanging slider after Ramirez drew a leadoff walk.
But it was for naught, as Nick Sandlin singlehandedly delivered the Reds the go-ahead run in the tenth inning by walking three consecutive batters. Way to make ‘em work for it.
On the mound for Cleveland, Zach Plesac was not terrible. He gave up six hits, two walks, and two earned runs over six innings, striking out three. His first mistake was a slider, low and inside, that nicked the strike zone enough for Tyler Naquin to launch it into the stands in right field. Plesac managed to hold serve until the sixth inning, when a leadoff walk came back to bite him after surrendering back-to-back singles to score the go-ahead run for Cincinnati.
Leading 2-1, the Reds tacked on insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings, including Tyler Naquin reaching on a two-out bunt single in the ninth, stealing second base, and then coming around to score on a Buck Farmer RBI single to make 4-2.